Hi'ilawe Waterfall - November 17, 2013
One of the most amazing waterfalls we've been to yet in the heart of Waipio Valley on the Big Island.
Scheduled for work in Kona on the Big Island, Kyla decided to come with me a day early for a nice adventure.
We landed in Kona and drove to Hilo. With the new highway it only took us a little over 1.5 hours to get to Waipio Valley. It is also a tourist location which you can see the valley from this point of view. We planned to go to Hi'ilawe Waterfall first the to the black sand beach after, but the falls took longer than expected.
Before the trail, there is a long, steep winding road. Only 4 wheel drive vehicles are allowed to drive on the paved road. Unfortunately we had to walk down which took about 20-30 minutes with our thighs burning.
At the bottom you'll be walking along Wailoa stream towards the valley.
Although the falls looks so close, it's been one of the toughest hikes we done in a while.
There is little information on how to get to the main trail. We walked through the small residential area until we found an opening on the left and decided to take the chance. Throughout the whole hike, I followed my instincts heading upstream to get to the falls. We crossed through the stream at least 10 times if not more with one almost chest high. If the waterfall was flowing heavily, which is usually is, you'll most likely be walking through water neck high. Take precautions to waterproof all electronics as I almost submerged my iPhone. The real trail beginning is after you walk pass the man made rock damn that regulated the river flow so cars can drive through.
In the beginning the trail is relatively flat. We did not encounter many trail markers but as long as you follow upstream you'll get to the falls.
One of the many beautiful fresh water ponds. The water was crystal clear and cold. DO NOT ENTER any ponds that are warm, chances are they carry many bacteria that can be fatal if they enter your body. This is the pond that almost took my iPhone. We crossed by walking along the rock dam and hugging the wall upstream. You must cross through this pong to get to the falls, there is no other way around.
Another pond we came across. The water was blue! Just another one of Hawaii's hidden treasures.
After many stream crossings, boulder climbing, and log hopping we see the falls.
The waterfall is estimated at 1,450 feet high. It's truly amazing walking closer and closer, you begin to feel so much smaller to the world.
We had the falls to ourselves. Even though the waterfall wasn't flowing heavily, the misty drops created this calming sound when it hit the water. Up close the water is blue, even under water appears blue.
One of the most memorable hike and waterfall we've been too. It was a great choice by Kyla to go too. We did not have enough time to see the black sand beach because we knew that paved road on the way up would kill us. Exhausted after the falls we hiked back. About a quarter of the way up (20 minutes) a truck stopped by us and asked us if we wanted a ride. Without hesitation we jumped in the back of his truck and enjoyed the ride to the top. It was the icing on the cake.